18 Sep 2015

Lochinver Station decision wlecomed

12:33 pm on 18 September 2015

Federated Farmers says it supports positive overseas investment in New Zealand's farming system but welcomes the Government's decision to decline the sale of Lochinver Station to Shanghai Pengxin.

Disputed ground - an aerial view of Lochinver Station.

Lochinver Station Photo: SUPPLIED

Government ministers say the benefits to New Zealand from any sale of the 13,000 hectare farm near Taupo to the Chinese company for $88 million are not substantial and identifiable.

Federated Farmers president William Rolleston said New Zealand needed foreign investment, but there had to be benefit to the local and national economy.

Dr Rolleston said this was not proven for Lochinver and the decision reinforced the importance of changes made to the Overseas Investment Office rules over recent years.

He said foreign investors and those involved in the sale of rural land needed to work harder to find ways to demonstrate economic benefit, such as introducing new technology or opening up new markets overseas.

New Zealand First said the rejection of the sale of Lochinver was baffling.

Deputy Leader Ron Mark said National had merrily ticked off over 1 million hectares of land to foreigner buyers, and none of those sales add substantial benefit for New Zealand.

The Green Party said blocking the sale of Lochinver was the correct thing to do, but said tighter rules were still required to stop land falling into overseas hands.

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